HR departments can use chatbots to answer common employee questions, freeing HR personnel to address the tougher questions faster. This field is easier than many for a chatbot to handle, because the audience is a known one and the kind of information they are looking for is well-delimited. Company policies, holiday schedules, job openings, and information about facilities account for a large portion of the questions an HR bot can expect.
There are two audiences for HR chatbots: employees and applicants. They have significantly different needs. A bot will need to find out early which type of user it is dealing with and then use the appropriate set of responses.
Chatbots provide several benefits to employees.
Better responses to questions: HR personnel have to look up the answers to questions. A chatbot has the information in its knowledge base and can respond without a delay. It can handle waves of questions without being overwhelmed.
24-hour availability: When the day starts with a major storm, employees will ask in large numbers about whether they should come in. Telephone calls will result in busy signals for most. A chatbot is available day and night. It can handle a surge in questions without falling behind.
Linguistic versatility: Multilingual capabilities benefit employees and applicants whose preferred language isn’t the one usually spoken at the company. Finding an HR person who knows the language will result in delays. A chatbot can be set up to handle the most widely used languages in its employee base.
Help in filling forms: Filling out forms is tedious. A chatbot can turn them into question-and-answer sessions, giving users immediate feedback if their responses need clarification. This is more user-friendly than completing a form and then being told that one field is in error.
Individualized information: Chatbots can answer employees’ questions about their status, such as available vacation days and retirement contributions. Implementing this capability requires high-quality authentication and security to protect employee confidentiality. Providing personal information is an advanced capability which not all bots need to support.